Thursday, 19 September 2019

A serious discussion with you

Hi friends,

A number of you have written often enough in the comments box that you enjoy my humourous articles and stories here. And this pleases me a lot because if I manage to make you smile for while then it is a good thing, is it not? Smiling and laughing is good. And I'm happy when you laugh. I remember years ago when I did a bit of amateur theatre, I presented variety acts and told jokes, it was very pleasing when people laughed at what I said.

Some of you have even e-mailed me to say you enjoy my articles. The address is at the tab at the top of this Blog. On the right.

Why only yesterday, someone phoned me and asked, "Is Sandra there?"

I replied, "There's no one called Sandra here. Perhaps you got the wrong number!"

They said, "That's not possible. Sandra does not have a phone!"

This set me wondering. Why does Sandra not have a phone? Is it because she cannot afford one or is it because she is afraid of heights?

You see, in today's world people are not willing to take responsibility and they take offence easily. I think instead of taking offence they should paint them instead. And paint the garden gate too. My wife has been asking me to do it for ages and I refuse on the grounds that the paint will peel off in time anyway and I'll have to do it all over again. Perhaps it's better if people take offence.

It's the same with politics. The other day someone stopped me in the street and asked me if I believe in free speech. I replied, "Yes!" He said, "OK ... can I use your cellphone please?"

And then there's those people who want to swim with dolphins. Well I don't. I want to cycle with dolphins. If I can bother to learn to swim why can't they learn to cycle and come out with me in the park?

Animals are selfish. They want to behave their own sweet way and we have to adapt to their habits and their habitats. If pandas can't be bothered to have sex why should we bother if they become extinct?

How about the koala bears. For a start they are not bears. They are not placental or 'eutherian' mammals, but marsupials, which means that their young are born immature & they develop further in the safety of a pouch. They only eat leaves from the eucalyptus tree and because the leaves of these trees have limited nutritional and caloric value the koalas sleep up to 20 hours a day. I think they are very lazy and should be put to work cleaning chimneys. Their furry and round body would soon clean the soot off that chimney.

When I was young our family was very poor. We could not afford many things and we put animals to good use working for us. We used to tie a hedgehog to a wooden stick and use it as a toilet brush. Baby ones were used as toothbrushes.

Giraffes too. Giraffes are the most useless creatures on earth. They have very long necks and legs out of proportion with the rest of their tiny bodies. It's as if they have been designed by a 3 years old child. Children often draw limbs out of proportion.

Like all mammals, giraffes give birth whilst standing up. Which means the baby giraffe falls from a great height on its head as it is born. No wonder all giraffes are stupid.

It reminds me of when I was born as a baby. I was born in hospital in Ward A, B and C. I was a big baby. The nurse slapped me on my bottom even though I had done nothing wrong yet. Then she punched my dad in the face.

 And another thing ... officialdom. That really gets to me. People who are placed in authority who suddenly become real dictators and tyrants. Like our librarian at the local library for instance. The other day I was waiting to take a book out. The guy in front of me wanted to take out a book called, "How to commit the perfect suicide". She did not want to lend him the book because she feared he would not return it.

The priest in our church is just the same. He put a sign in the car park saying "Place Reserved for the priest". People parked there all the same.

He then put another sign, "Do not park here". People ignored him again.

He thought he'd be clever and use one of the Ten Commandments. He wrote, "Thou Shalt Not Park Here". That too was ignored.

So he wrote, "Whoever parks here will wash my car". We all parked elsewhere.

He could have asked nicely don't you think?

And the choir leader, she's a dictator too! I volunteered to sing in the church choir. I turned up at all the rehearsals except one when I had to go for a hospital check-up. That's when everyone in the choir thought they'd tuned the church organ. When I returned the following week she asked me to stand in the back and mime instead. How can you mime "Silent Night" when beating the big drum?

Nurses in hospitals can be officious too. I had to go and give some blood so they can test if I still have a sense of humour. I don't like needles, so what I do is give my doctor's card to a friend. He goes instead of me and pretends to be me and give blood instead. The nurse does not know any better and I avoid giving blood. Last month my friend could not go and he sent his wife instead. When I went to the doctor's for the results he told me I was pregnant! I was shocked. My wife had assured me the condoms we bought were Catholic approved. 

Anyway, just to assure you that I can sing, here's a recording for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Family Branches

My grandfather finally achieved his life-long ambition to be a lion-whisperer; just moments before he died.

My other grandfather was very lazy and worked on a farm. He was fired for killing a snail which followed him all day long.

My other grandfather invented a compass which always pointed in the opposite direction he was travelling. He did not know whether he was coming or going. He also invented a luminous sundial so he could tell the time at night. His sundial watch did not catch on though ... except on his sleeves as he put his shirts on.

My other grandfather was abandoned by his family so he joined ours. He could not keep his nose out of peoples' private business. He was on security duty in a nudist camp; where people go to air their differences. He was a boxer. The rest of his family were Dalmatians.

My other grandfather ... or was it my uncle? My uncle went for three weeks on a dog food diet. It eventually landed him in hospital. He stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle's butt and was hit by a car.

My other uncle did not have a peaceful death lying quietly in his bed. Instead he was surrounded by shouting and screaming people as he drove the bus over a cliff.

My auntie ... my auntie told her parents that she was pregnant. They told her to deny that the baby was hers.

My other uncle ... we were a big family. My other uncle used to work as an elevator attendant in a department store. His life had its ups and downs. He also suffered a lot from flatulence. I think farting in an elevator is wrong on so many levels.

My other uncle ... he died at work in a warehouse suddenly without saying goodbye. He was hit on the head by a falling crate of Cheerios.

My cousins ... all of them my distant cousins. They all moved to Australia to be as far away from me as possible.

One of my cousins ... well, he still lives next door. He inherited my grandfather's compass. We call him Boomerang. Every time we send him to Australia he comes back. Whenever he goes out shopping we move house. But he still manages to find us.

He is such a miser that he would not spend any money at all if he could possibly help it. He is always coming round to borrow the mother-in-law's false teeth.
The mother-in-law ... well she came as part of the deal. When I married it was a buy one get one free offer at her family. 

I can always tell when she's home because she leaves her broomstick in the porch. I've tried putting it in the trash can but it keeps flying out and resting out of reach on the chimney. 

I thought of putting the broomstick in the trash can and then placing something heavy on the lid to stop it getting out; but my mother-in-law refuses to sit there until collection day on Wednesday.

My other grandfather ... I'd forgotten about him. He doesn't believe in modern technology and all that. He is on Twitter but does not tweet. It is his way of playing truant. 

He is on Facebook too but has no followers whatsoever. So he's taken to walking down the street and making inane statements about himself of no more than 180 characters or so; as they do on Twitter and Facebook. Every so often he says: "My shoes hurt!" "I need a haircut." "My trousers itch in unusual places." 

At first these occasional utterances astounded those around him. But now he has three followers - all wearing white coats.

My grandmother ... forgot about her. My grandmother swallowed a fly. Then she swallowed a spider. Eventually she got prosecuted by the Animal Welfare People for cruelty to animals.

My other grandmother used to live in a tree. She said she liked to imitate birds. She ate worms.

My other grandmother had tattoos on her fingers just by the knuckles. On one hand she had tattooed the letters L - O - V - E and on the other hand she had tattooed the letters H - A - T. 

She ran out of money before finishing the tattoos. If only ... we too ran out of money every time we started to hate!

She was so thin and bonney she had liposuction to put some fat in. It was done at the sausage factory.

Another of my cousins, however, had lost a lot of weight and as a result he had a lot of loose skin; especially in the chest and tummy area. He went for surgery and they pulled up his skin upwards, ever so upwards, and stretched it tightly until all his loose skin was tied into a knot and hidden behind his neck. He looked perfectly well except that his belly button (navel) was now on his forehead. He also had a very unusual tie.

My other cousin always plays tennis whilst wearing a motorcyclist's helmet in case he gets hit in the face by the ball. He got hit in the groin instead. Now he wears two motorcyclist's helmets.

My other cousin is a scientist. He was fired from his job in the Research Lab for inventing instant laxative. He was not flushed with success. 

My other other cousin is a lawyer. I won't say a thing about him!

My other distant cousin three times removed ... keeps coming back! He performs keyhole surgery at the local locksmith. His patients refuse to have a door placed on them as they lay on the operating table.

My other other cousin always wears dresses in public, especially whilst shopping and when attending church. She's a woman, so what do you expect? Are you suggesting there's something weird about my family? I'll have you know we're all perfectly normal; for around here.

As for me ... well, I am perfect as you all already know.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Mother Nature


Isn't nature wonderful? I love natural science programs on TV and learn a lot from them. I sit there pizza in hand gathering all sorts of facts to inform, educate and entertain you.

Here are some nature's facts for your edification.

Did you know that if a centipede is attacked it detaches some of its legs and throws them at his attacker? That way the attacker stops to eat the leg and the centipede runs away and hides. It's true, I tell you. The sad thing is that when the centipede returns to retrieve his lost shoes and socks he gets eaten anyway.

Also, did you know that silverfish can live for two to eight years unless you hit them hard with your shoe.

Before silverfish reproduce, they carry out a complicated ritual which may last over half an hour without the need of a relaxing drink beforehand or soft music and lights in the background. First the male and female stand face to face, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. In the second phase, the male runs away and the female chases him. In the third phase, the silverfish do what they want in the privacy of their own home; unless you turn on the lights and hit them with your shoe.

The thorny devil lizard can absorb water through its skin like a blotting paper. Then it drinks the water by opening and closing their mouth - they drink through their scales like sipping through a series of straws. They do not use plastic straws like we do because they have their own straws under their skin. So remember, never let one of these lizards stand in your glass of wine or else he'll get drunk and start singing, "I did it my way!"

The cricket chirps at night depending on the temperature. If it is very hot it could chirp 30 or 40 times a minute. If it is a little cooler it would chirp perhaps 15 to 20 times a minute. In very cold conditions it does not chirp at all because it is frozen out of its tiny mind.

The coldest temperature ever recorded is known as Absolute Zero. At Absolute Zero nothing happens. The buses will not run and don't even think of licking a lamp post because you'll be stuck there with no one to release you.

Talking of Zero ... scientists have built a chamber where you can simulate Zero Gravity. They put an elephant and a mouse in the chamber to find out whether, when there's no gravity, they would float at the same rate, rising at the same time. Surprisingly, they did float up at the same rate despite their different size. However, when they switched the gravity machine off the elephant fell with a bump on the mouse and killed it.

The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed by a tortoise. He was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle which do feed on tortoises by dropping them on hard objects. The eagle had mistaken his bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile; he was acquitted in Court later and the verdict was recorded as an accident. Ironically, Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.

Did you know that Madagascar hissing cockroaches eat fresh vegetables and dry dog food pellets? The hiss is produced when they forcefully expel air through the specially-adapted respiratory openings under their wings. They normally hiss because they don't like what someone is saying or singing - that's why you should never take them to the theatre or a concert in case they disturb the audience by their disapproval.

Whilst staying at a cheap hotel once I killed a cockroach in my room. Within minutes the place was infested by cockroaches who had come for the funeral.

Snails are amongst the slowest and most boring creatures on earth apart from lawyers and accountants. Of course, they were not always as small as they are now. In Olden Days they were as big as pigs. They were still very slow and left a trail of slime behind them which people would slip on and get injured. Because of their slowness and the fact that they taste nice with garlic they were all caught and eaten in a delicate sauce. Only baby snails survived and they decided, on a unanimous vote, to remain small to avoid detection. Did you know that if a snail climbed up your leg it would be at least two days before you said  "OOOH !!! What a nice surprise!"

Did you know that flamingoes stand on one leg because if they were to lift it up they would fall?

Also, did you know that in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Polonius hides himself behind Gertrude's arras?

What's that to do with natural science? I hear you ask. Well ... I just thought that she must have had a big arras to hide a man behind!

During the summer I decided to go to college for evening classes. I had a choice of a place either at a martial arts class, (karate, judo and the like), or at a do-it-yourself class, (being a handyman, doing carpentry, plumbing, a bit of electric work, car maintenance, that sort of thing). I did not wish to be hurt at martial arts so I chose the do-it-yourself class.

Yesterday I was mugged on my way home from college. I offered to build the mugger a set of shelves!

It's true I tell you. I am not pulling your leg. All these facts have been well researched in a scientific book which I am writing. So they must be true.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Receiving Jesus


Father Ignatius finished reading from Matthew Chapter 8 Verse 5 then waited for the congregation to sit down.

“Imagine,” he said, “that I asked you to share your lunch with me today …

“If I said that Mrs Davenport, our housekeeper, has gone away suddenly and has not prepared Sunday lunch. So instead of staying at home alone with a piece of bread and ginger marmalade, I’d come home with you after Mass and share your meal with you.

“What would you think?”

He waited patiently for a few seconds.

“Would you think … Oh no … I haven’t had time to clean the house. It’s in a right state and I don’t want him to see it this way!

“Or … Not today, without prior notice … All we have at home is a few eggs and some bread …

“What other reasons would cross your mind, I wonder, to stop me from visiting you unannounced?”

After a few seconds’ pause he continued.

“In today’s Gospel we read about a Roman Centurion asking Jesus to heal his servant. And when Jesus agrees and makes his way towards the house the soldier says, ‘I am not worthy that you come into my house …’

“He doesn’t stop Jesus because the house is not clean, or because he has nothing to offer Him by way of refreshments … He says that he is not worthy to have Jesus visit him.

“He is a Roman Officer, a member of an occupying army with many soldiers under his command. He has power over many men and territory. Yet, he does not feel worthy enough to have such an eminent person as Jesus visit his home.

“He goes on to say ‘Just say the word and my servant will be healed!’

“What Faith, from someone who supposedly should have no Faith at all in Jesus! After all, Jesus was considered by the Romans as just another Jew in this occupied land ... nothing special.

“He says to Jesus, ‘I trust you enough and in your power, that you only have to say it, and my servant will be well.’

“And of course Jesus heals the servant without visiting the house.”

Father Ignatius stopped for a few moments once again.

“I wonder if we have similar Faith!” he asked.

“Do we trust Jesus enough to believe that He will listen to our prayers? Or do we harbor some doubts in our minds?

“Are we worthy to have Him visit us in our homes? Or will He be shocked by the cobwebs in every corner of our soul?

“And when we come forward for Holy Communion, and repeat the Centurion’s words, do we really mean them? I am not worthy to receive You ... ... ...

“Or do we hide the cobwebs of sin in our very souls? For make no mistake about it. This is what Communion is … Jesus abiding within your very soul.

“And if there’s sin hidden in our hearts … then we are not worthy indeed to receive Him.”




MORE FATHER IGNATIUS STORIES HERE

Sunday, 15 September 2019

The Journey


Let me take you on a journey which you will surely make. One day. You don't know when, but for certain you will make that journey. We may not know the day or the hour, and we may hope it is a long way off, but for certainty, one day, we will all make that journey.

The day we get to meet God. Face to face.

You ... and the Creator of the universe and all that is in it. Including you.

How will you feel that day?

Will you be filled with trepidation, your heart pounding, at a loss for words, not knowing what to say? Will you wonder and fear what He will say to you? And how you will react to His voice and to what He says?

Or will you be joyful? At last you're in Heaven. Are you so presumptuous and certain of your fate and destination? Will you give yourself a mental thumbs up that all is going to be well for you?

How will this feeling, justified as it may well be, affect your attitude, your demeanour and behaviour as you get to meet your Maker?

Would you still meet Him with trepidation or act as if meeting a long lost friend from school or the golf club?

How will your thankful heart proclaim your feelings? In silence? In song? In words? What would you say?

Will you say "thank you Lord" or will your mouth and tongue dry up in the presence of such Majesty of your Creator God?

Will your mind and your very being be able to comprehend the awesomeness of the situation and the beginning of a new journey into eternity?

For one certainty there is. We will all make that journey.

Are you ready for yours?

Saturday, 14 September 2019

My Phone Conversation With The Priest

Hello ... is this St Vincent Church?

I would like to speak to Father Donald please ...

... Not Father Mark ... he is a little frightening at times ... I find him intimida ...

... Oh it's you Father Mark !!! Hello ...

... Ehm ... I'm sorry about what I said just then ...

... Will I need to confess it as a sin? No ... oh good ...

Well ... what I wondered is ... you know your housekeeper ...

Yes ... Mrs Nightingale ... yes ... well ... do you think she has my sausages?

My sausages ... You see, I am at home cooking breakfast ... fried eggs and bacon with baked beans and no sausages ...

Yes ... I have no sausages ... and I wondered if Mrs Nightingale had them and cooked them for you and Father Donald for breakfast ...

I was at the butcher this morning ... you see ... Ivor Bull and Harry Lamb ... do you know them?

... They are in the High Street next to the pub The Drunken Bishop ...

Yes ... I'm about to get to the point ... don't intimidate me please ... it makes me worried when you shout ... Ok ... yes ... I have calmed down ...

... Well ... the butcher ... he makes lovely pork sausages ... chipolatas ...

... That's the name of the sausages ... Have you ever tried them?

Yes ... I'm getting there ... Well ... I got half a pound of chipolatas and then on my way home I came in the Church.

I sat at the back ... and it was about the end of the Mass ... is it a sin to come at the end of the Mass rather than the beginning?

No? Well ... I stayed there and said a prayer whilst the two or three people there went home ... then I left too ...

When I got home I did not have my chipolatas ... I may have left them on the pew ... the last one at the back on the left ...

Well ... I thought perhaps Mrs Nightingale may have found them when she was cleaning the church and fed them to you and Father Donald?

Why are you angry with me, Father? I was only asking ...

Ok ... after I have had my breakfast ... without the chipolatas ... I'll come over to church and ask Mrs Nightingale if she found them ...

Will you be there? No? You'll be out? For how long? I thought I'd say "hello" whilst I'm there ... You'll be out for a month?

Ok ... I'll say "hello" now then ... and "goodbye!"

I hope you are not angry with me, Father ... Father ... He's hung up!

Friday, 13 September 2019

I lost my banana

Something very odd has happened in our household. We have had a burglar in the house and he stole nothing else but a banana. I kid you not. Not one thing in our house was taken, not one bar of chocolates which I hide somewhere secret, not one of the many books I have authored, nothing taken except for one banana.

It was there in a bowl of fruit. The last item to be eaten before we purchase some more. One lonely banana in all its glory. Not even worth posing for a painting by Caravaggio, Picasso or Cezanne.

And now it's gone.

Everyone in our family claims that they did not take it. And I believe them.

So it leaves two options. Either the dog jumped on the table whilst we were out and ate it. Or a burglar came in and took it.

It can't be the dog, I think. Because the fruit bowl has not been disturbed and there is no sign of banana skin anywhere, unless the dog ate that too.

So it must have been a burglar. And the dog let him in no doubt. He is not much of a guard dog.

I remember we had a similar burglary some years back. It was just after we got married. A burglar entered our house and stole absolutely nothing except for my pictures. I had twenty or so pictures around the house, hanging on the wall, on the mantelpiece, side board and so on, of me in various poses, all taken by professional photographers. All these photos of me were taken and nothing else.

I wanted to call the police but my wife discouraged me. She said they'd never believe a thief would just steal only my photos; unless he was a great fan of mine that is.

So I did nothing.

Many years later I found all these photos, still in their frames, up in the loft covered in dust.

What kind of burglar is it that steals photos and then hides the loot up in the loft?

So I went up there and looked for my banana. I did not find it. But I found a number of other items I had lost over the years. Like the collection of antique door handles which I had started as a hobby before I got married. And the book about gaining friends and influencing people. A lot of good that did me in my youth; everyone avoided me as soon as they saw me. And that T shirt with the sexy slogan I used to wear. These and many other things were up in the attic. But no banana.

I think something strange is happening around here. How could the dog manage to take all these things and hide them in the loft. You'd think his instincts would be to bury them in the garden.

Maybe that's where he buried the banana!

Any ideas?
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